QR Code Review – Coop Sports Super Skim 35

QR Code Review - Coop Sports Super Skim 35Making effective QR codes takes work.  To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes.  By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.

QR Code Review - Coop Sports Super Skim 35 - QR codeToday we look at a QR code you can find on Coop Sports Super Skim 35.  It measures about 1 inch square but does not include a call-to-action but does include a URL.

This particular product is a skim board.  As the waves hit the beach and recede, a thin layer of water is left on the sand.  Using this board, people run along the beach, throw the board on top of that thin layer of water, and skim across it, often landing in the water.  Not too dangerous and a whole lot of fun.

The encoded data is a URL:  http://www.coop-sports.com/qrtag_sports

QR Code Review - Coop Sports Super Skim 35 - iPhone screen

Overall rating: 1 out of 5

QR Code Review - Coop Sports Super Skim 35 - Rating - 1 out of 5

7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes

Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:

Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?

  • There is no call-to-action.

What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?

  • The QR code is the standard black elements on a white background.

Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?

  • This QR code is easy to find but not specifically integrated into the design

What happens when you scan the code?

  • You are taken nowhere (or really, a 404 error page…)

If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?

  • The landing page is an error page and is not mobile friendly

If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?

  • The encoded data could be used as a redirect but currently, it is non-existent.

Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?

  • The landing page provides no value to the customer and it can be argued that landing on an error page after scanning a QR code could actually count as negative value.

What We Can Learn

Coop Sports has a lot of opportunities for improvement with this QR code.  It measures about 1 inch square which is a good size for scanning and includes a URL under the code.  It is easy to find on the front of the product.  Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends.  There is no call-to-action.  While there is a URL listed, it is not the encoded URL (minor issue).  When scanned, the visitor is taken nowhere.  Yep, nowhere, as in a 404 error page or “This page does not exist“.  That one mistake makes the whole QR code campaign useless and frustrating to anyone who scans this code.

From a user perspective, the QR code is in a good spot but without the call-to-action, not as many will take the time to scan the code.  In this case, that may actually work out better for users since the landing page does not exist.  No call-to-action means fewer scans, resulting in fewer users frustrated.  There is a silver lining on every dark cloud….

How can we help Coop Sports?

First, and this can’t be emphasized enough, your QR code MUST work.  When scanned, it has to take visitors somewhere, not an error page.  This could be a simple mistake, using an underscore instead of a dash or something but it’s gotta be fixed.  A simple 301 redirect would do the trick in about 30 seconds, provided the “real” landing page really exists.

Next, the main website needs to be mobile friendly.  It’s not terrible in landscape but nearly unreadable in portrait unless you are pinching and scrolling.  Even if the whole site doesn’t get redesigned for mobile devices, at the bare minimum, the landing page must be mobile friendly.

Last but not least, a good call-to-action would encourage more people to scan the QR code.  Something like “Scan here for board info” or “Scan to catch more waves” would draw more attention.  Unless people visit your site, you can’t provide them any value with your site.  More value leads to more sales and happier customers.


When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:

  • Before sending out anything with a QR code on it, be sure to scan and test the code.  Few things in life are more frustrating than a QR code that lands visitors on a page that does not exist.
  • Mobile friendly websites are very important but a mobile friendly landing page is vital.  If your landing page does not look good on a mobile device, skip the QR code and focus on the landing page.  Only with a mobile friendly landing page (or site) should your implement a QR code campaign

We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products.  I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peasbrake padssilicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more.  What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?

If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help.   If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.